Saturday, February 12, 2011

from foreign to domestic

The big issue that many of us around the world wonder about is what will happen with Egypt now? The military, who has been Mubarak's military and been supported a lot by the US is going to be in control for awhile but where does this story end? If you listen to Glenn Beck, you will think one way and if you get your news from MSNBC another.

Myself, I don't know and have concern for it to work well. I have seen some worrisome statistics for instance that only 30% of Egyptians are educated. Now to what level does that mean educated? The percentage of the population over age 15 who can read and write is 71 percent. (83 percent of men, 59 percent of women).

In a Pew Poll last year 48% believed Islam should play a large role in politics in Egypt. 85% believed Islam's influence in politics is positive. Two-thirds in a Zogby poll said Egyptian life would improve if clerics played more of a role in it. That my friends is a theocracy.

Egyptians, in polling, supported the central elements of Sharia Law. 84% agreed apostates or those who forsake Islam should face the death penalty. 77% favor thieves having their hand cut off. 54% thought men and women should be segregated in the workplace. 7 in 10 said they were positive toward Iran getting nuclear weapons in a July 2010 Zogby Poll and close to 80 percent favored abrogating the Camp David accords with Israel.

Do they still feel that way? What will that mean for the government they will choose when given a totally free vote? From what I have read, the Muslim Brotherhood is kind of a loose assortment of Islamic beliefs and not one consolidated set of ideas but where it comes to human beings anywhere, emotion so often rules and people don't think where it's taking them until it is too late. It is one of the fears many of us have felt about our own country.

The idea of Egypt being a modern Middle Eastern country, with their proud cultural history behind them, that is very appealing to the West. But the key here is modern and what that means. I looked at photos of the crowds demonstrating and then cheering to see if the women had their hair showing. Maybe it's just a fluke but every woman I saw wore a hijab; however, I didn't see any niqabs. Any photos of the Mubarak family showed his wife with her hair showing but she was I think half English. Was that why? Maybe head coverings aren't a good indicator of where this is going or is it?

But then there is a movement in our country which would head us toward religious fundamentalism also-- this movement claiming Christianity-- their version of it anyway. That wouldn't require head covering but it does have other rigid values that the leaders follow or are threatened with being thrown out of leadership if they do not.

Supposedly the tea party isn't about religious fundamentalism and the Republican party won't go that way now. They ran on caring about jobs, smaller government (don't ask how smaller government gets jobs), and lower taxes-- most especially on the rich (that might've once been where they expected those jobs to arise except we have proof during the Bush years that doesn't pan out).

So the House is now under Republican control and exactly what did they go after that would impact jobs? Making the government not pay for abortions in the case of rape without proof of violent force being used. Which means that thirteen year old, whose father had sex with her, that must have been consensual-- except how does that work since it's a crime. It's a felony to have sex with a minor but it evidently wouldn't qualify as rape to the right wing and hence they don't want to have the federal government paying for such abortions for the impoverished. I guess that would cover cutting costs... up until the girl asked for welfare anyway but then they'd cut that too wouldn't they?

When CPAC just met, the NRA's LaPierre hit on another of the favorite rightie causes which is that everybody should be equipped with an extended magazine. Nothing makes a woman feel secure like carrying a handgun in her purse with a 31 bullet magazine. I suggest she might want to switch that purse from side to side to save her back and shoulders from being hurt by the extra weight-- which she is more at risk of having happen than being attacked by a gang where she has to kill them all with her extended capability of firing many shots quickly.

Often I have said I favor the right to have handguns and rifles, to have permits for concealed weapons (which means taking a class and passing a background check). I got one almost as soon as Oregon allowed it. The issue here though is whether it would have helped as LaPierre claimed. What helped in the Tucson situation was a break in the shooting which a smaller magazine would have had happen sooner.

Someone trained in firearms has often stopped a shooter in the past but that training is on a military or police level. In Tucson someone did have a handgun and admitted if he had used it when he first saw the situation, he'd have shot an innocent person and let the shooter escape. This is split second stuff and knowing who the bad guy is has even been hard for the police.

To add to the weirdness from the right, I saw a clip of Glenn Beck expounding on how these Egyptian groups are mobs, and rule by mobs is always bad. They put at risk the whole idea of democracy. Of course, we know he thinks this is a plot of the religious right there in the Middle East to form a huge caliphate that Bush the I and II plotted to have Baghdad be the capitol of... Seriously, he even used a map to show how it will encompass part of Europe, not us though... so far as I know.

On this threat of mob rule, has he remembered he supports the Tea Party here, a group who brags they can bring together demonstrations of a million people protesting our government, where some proudly carry weapons to show they can, who talk of revolution as a possible future need in this country. Does he remember anything he says or claims to stand for? This was almost funny except he doesn't get it. Hasn't he been supporting the rule of the mob, of revolution with the tea party bunch if they can't get what they want through the vote?

That's different though. It always is.


Kay Dennison said...

Beautifully said -- as always!

I share your concerns about Egypt and it worries that we could just be trading one bad gov't for another as we have too many times to count. I share your concerns about education and literacy as well but I have the same concerns about our own country (e.g.: the Tea Party which only seems to parrot what Beck et al say.)
I do pause at the idea of theocracy -- anywhere. But I still hope they will prevail in Egypt and move toward democracy.

I'm not even going to start on the Tea Party. We have discussed in too many times to count.

I am not anti-gun but I also believe in responsible gun ownership as you have demonstrated. I don't want one myself and don't think I'm a good candidate for gun ownership.
There are plenty of people who, for various reasons not necessarily related to one's history with law enforcement.

I grew up in a house with guns as my dad liked to hunt and I was taught to have a healthy respect for them. I knew where his guns were and I knew where the ammo was and I knew it was worth my life to touch either. My brother is also a hunter and gave my nephew a shotgun for his 13th birthday but he was not allowed to use it until he had taken the NRA's classes. I'm not sure what the laws are here in Ohio but I don't think they're nearly as strict or responsible as Oregon's and I would like to see that changed.

I share your concerns about the Tea Party and the inflammatory rhetoric of Glen Beck et al. A Tea Party member was recently sentenced to 8 years in prison for seriously injuring an Obama supporter;

There wasn't a gun involved but there could well have been.

I just wonder how many others have suffered such atrocity for their beliefs at the hands of these people and how many more will suffer.

Paul said...

I consider Glenn Beck and Keith Olbermann to be telescum of the worst kind. Each side has their wackos. As for the Tea Party, they have a right (in a democracy) to express their opinions. The Left doesn't like them , but these folks will not go away.

Rain said...

I think it's so humorous to hear Glenn Beck trying to equate what is happening in Wisconsin to Egypt. Dire warnings of plots from socialists and lefties behind both. And he ignores that in our country these group events began with the tea party at least in recent times. And then Beck is horrified they bring their children. Has he EVER paid attention to an abortion protest bunch and their little kids?

I don't know what will happen in Egypt. It could probably go many ways. The military will have the most to say at least for awhile.